There is something about the change of the seasons that brings on a period of contemplation and revision.
Call it season affective disorder, call it the Hunter's Moon tonight sending us headlong towards Halloween and the end of the year, or the fatigue hitting after all the back to school fervour, but I have felt pulled to shut the door to others and turn inwards for a spell.
The wisdom of drawing awards and considering where you are, where you thought you would be and where you choose to go is in stepping outside of your everyday life and taking a bird's eye view for a moment. How often do you step back and take stock, or are you too worried about running on life's never-ending treadmill to stop and consider your destination?
This week a select group of women undertook the first round of my 7-day video tutorial course, Eliminating Exhaustion. Many of them discovered that they had been living their lives in service to others without considering their own health, their own needs.
As you might imagine, the course was intended to do exactly what it said on the tin, but exhaustion, overwhelm, burnout, they are all conditions that arise from a combination of external stressors coupled with internal conditioning.
The person you work with who is out the door at 5.01 and wears their responsibility lightly is unlikely to struggle with burnout because they do not internalise the external. The success or failure of a team effort is unlikely to sit sorely with them because they do not feel responsibility for the outcome.
However, the professional, heartfelt women who struggle with burnout and exhaustion are likely to have struggled throughout the process exactly because they internalise those external conditions. They take responsibility for everything and everyone. They measure their worth by the success or failure of a project even if it is beyond their control entirely.
As professional women we work hard to be the best we can be and will simultaneously make excuses for the perceived shortcomings of others whilst applying a ridiculously high standard to ourselves.
Is it any wonder we feel as though we cannot win?
It is for that reason that the core of the Searching for Serenity philosophy is a combination of immediately implemented, purely practical tools designed to promote efficiency and management together with the more gentle, long-term examination of the behaviours that bought us to a place of burnout.
After all, you can be the most efficient, experienced expert in your field, achieving more than anyone around you, but if you still feel like a failure for the small losses along the way or drive yourself headfirst into exhaustion, was there any point to begin with?
As the say goes, if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.
So during this time of contemplation, take time to consider what it is that you have always done, and ask whether it's truly taking you to the destination you desire, or whether it's slowly driving you to despair.
If it's the latter, isn't it time to change?
Join the hundreds of other professional, heartfelt women beating back burnout one day at a time.
Click here to access my free ebook and emergency checklist, Burnout First Aid, my free gift to you.